Trade unions and employee participation
AECI recognises the right of all employees to join
a trade union of their choice. Representative trade
unions are acknowledged as one of the Group’s
key stakeholders. Formal recognition agreements
exist with CEPPWAWU, GIWUSA, NETU, SACWU
and Solidarity at employment centres across
the country. These unions participate in various
consultative and negotiation structures such as
Management/Shop Stewards Consultative Forums,
Safety, Health and Environment Committees and
Wellness Committees to deal with issues that affect
With the exception of Heartland, all AECI Group
businesses in South Africa are members of the
National Bargaining Council for the Chemical Industry
(“NBCCI”). Substantive collective agreements for
the bargaining unit are negotiated on an annual
basis with representative trade unions under the
auspices of the NBCCI – Industrial Chemical Sector.
Senior Industrial Relations Managers from the Group
participate in this forum as employer representatives.
During the 2012 negotiations a dispute was declared
by all unions. Notwithstanding the challenges
presented by the allocated negotiation period being
exceeded, annual wage increases were settled
without any industrial action. The substantive
agreement applies to all employees in the
Bargaining unit in South Africa.
Regrettably, on-going restructuring in some Group
businesses led to some unavoidable retrenchments.
These processes were concluded in a spirit of
cooperation between the Group and trade unions
as was the on-boarding of employees in the
businesses acquired in the year.
AEL’s Consultative Forum was re-established and
the consultation process regarding restructuring
of the business has commenced. Temporary
employees with more than five years’ service with
the company were permanently employed from